Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm trying something different this year

The book...

the look.

You'll notice this display tree is 6 feet tall, nicely rounded and fat with branches.
This is called the "Shimmer" look.
All of the decorations are gold. Not real gold of course, simply gold coloured, made from that cheap stuff that allows these baubles to be sold for only four dollars a packet.  (At Coles, I haven't checked the prices at other supermarkets).
Well within my budget.
 
The baubles, mostly gold with a few shimmery pinks mixed in.
Balls in three sizes and elongated baubles, some are shiny, some are matte, many have glitter.
All of them are pretty.

I even bought a packet of glittery stars.
 
And of course I had to have the sparkly tinsel!
Christmas just isn't Christmas without tinsel.

Now here's my tree.

Clearly not six feet tall, (it's about 90 or 100cms), not nicely rounded, certainly not fat with branches.
In fact it's rather spindly. 
When I downsized from a six foot tree several years ago, this is what I could afford.
I hung it with everything I had available, plus lots of tinsel.
Last year a couple of monkeys got hung in there too.
Overall I've been happy with it.

I think I can safely say that my tree, even with the displayed ornaments, won't look like the one pictured in the Coles Christmas magazine. 
But I'll give it a good try.
(maybe I should invest in a slightly fatter tree next year?)

Here are the pictures of the other decorating options shown in the mgazine.


This is called the "Classic" look, mostly red baubles with a few gold stars  and a handful of green balls on the bottom branches.

"Wonderland".  White and silver decorations, with navy blue stars. Along the bottom branches, those elongated baubles in silver with silver glitter and silver with navy blue glitter. (to me they just look purple).

The "Regal".  Mostly purple, with a few silver balls, and some strings of purple beads.

Classic and Shimmer have gold stars on top of the tree, Wonderland and Regal have silver.

What are you doing with your tree this year? 
Following a colour theme?
 Do you have heirloom decorations, handed down from parents and grandparents? 
 Handmade decorations made in school or at home by your children? 
 Old-fashioned painted wooden decorations?
A mix of all of these?


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

jade by the front door is supposed to be lucky....here's hoping

When I moved in here I didn't bring many of my old pot plants with me.
There just wasn't room as most of them were quite large.
I did bring a pelargonium...

...which has since been planted in the communal garden, near a shady tree,

and my last three rose cuttings, two yellow and one red, all of which are also now in amongst the other, older rose bushes.

I also brought along this jade and three smaller ones in smaller pots.
This big one wasn't doing so well after about a week, because I'd had it on the front corner of my tiny porch and someone unknown had kicked or tossed it down the slope of the lawn. It had rolled down quite a way, with most of the soil being lost into the grass, so I plonked it back into the pot, put it back on the corner and started saving for some new pots. various neighbours said it must have blown off in the wind, but as subsequent gale force winds failed to move it, I'll stick with my theory.
I'd thought I might get some blue glazed ceramic pots. Large ones. Some of the other flat owners have these and they look really lovely, but after seeing how much they'd cost me, I hopped a bus to K-Mart and got plastic terracotta coloured ones.
Four of them, for less than the cost of one glazed pot.

I repotted the jades, and have put some large white pebbles on two of the pots as mulch, to stop the water evaporating quite so fast. I'll get the remaining two done when I get more pebbles. I thought I'd bought enough....

Looks pretty nice doesn't it?
 
 
This is one of the "smaller" ones. It's now bigger than the other big one, it really took off as soon as it could spread its roots and soak up some water.  See the pot next to it that doesn't have white pebbles yet?  The jade in that is about half the size of this one.

I cleaned up the original small pots and planted a tiny sprig of jade in each one. I looked at them when I arrived home from work today and they've begun growing! Once they're big enough, I plan to pot them up and put them in the "back yard", out where the washing lines are.

I've heard that for the luck to work jade must be at both front and back doors.
We'll see.

Monday, November 28, 2011

just dropping in to say hi..

I'm not staying long, I'm in a hurry to get back to the book I'm reading.

Called The Mushroom Man, by Stuart Pawson, I began reading it yesterday.
The first chapter didn't really grip my attention, but I kept going in the hope that the story would improve a bit.
Well, it certainly did that. I'm up to page 142 and so far there's been three murders, an accidental death, a suicide and a child kidnapping.

I was reading this at work this morning, (no, not at the checkout), while I waited for my shift to start and I have to say when it was almost time to go downstairs and start work, I really, really, didn't want to.

Yet work I did, for hours, all the while wanting to be reading the story.
So, here I am at home, checking email, reading a blog or three.....four...ten.....okay, all of you.
I may or may not leave comments, because my book is right there beside me, calling...calling...calling....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Selections #45

Welcome to Sunday Selections #47

As bloggers, most of us have built up a collection of photos that we might use on our blogs.
Often as newer photos are filed and used, a lot of the older ones are forgotten about.
They lie dormant in our hard drives, quietly singing to themselves, "what about me...it isn't fair..."

Well, here's your chance to use these forgotten photos.

Search your pictures files and find a few that deserve to see the light of day, or even just one....
Post them on a Sunday, under the Sunday Selections title, then link back to Kim at Frog Ponds Rock, because this wonderful concept is hers. Then go to Kim's site, add your name to her linky list and leave her a comment, because she just loves comments.

It really is that easy!

I often choose a theme for my Sunday Selections and this week my theme is:

CONSTRUCTION


This construction is/was taking place on a site that used to be a 100 bed nursing home for the elderly.
The old home had been there for many, many years and while it still looked in reasonable condition to me, it was very run down and apparently had rising damp and termites too. 

I'm wishing now that I'd taken photos of the old nursing home before they tore it down.

Lots of waste in the bin, I hope they recycle...

Working on the second storey.

It's actually beginning to look like something.

They're building retirement accommodation.

High priced 2 or 3 bedroom units, (apartments) for the over 55's.
Well, the over 55's who were savvy enough in their youth to work hard, save and invest for their retirement.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

what the f*** else is going to go wrong!

I woke up this morning looking forward to going to a birthday party later this evening.

Made pancakes for breakfast, tidied up, decided I'd wash the dishes, because I hate coming home to a dirty sink.
I have one of those taps where you lift the handle to start the water flow.

Turned this handle to the left because that connects the hot water, and as I turned it, the silly thing lifted itself, too fast, too high, now it's broken and won't shut off.  Stoopid tap!
(since the sink was now half filled with hot water, I washed up the dishes as the water continued to fill the sink)
I've turned it all the way to the right, for cold water, and pushed it back down as far as it will go.
 The water is still running. About a litre a minute. A litre!!  I put a jug under it and measured.
I suppose I could stand beside the sink and hold that handle down for as long as it takes.....

I've called maintenance and said this is an emergency and they will send a plumber, but it may take up to 5 hours before he gets here. In the meantime I should shut off my water supply. I frantically ran around to the few neighbours that I know speak English and asked if there was a shut off tap and where would it be? One didn't know, one wasn't home, the third neighbour said there isn't an individual shut off tap per flat.

Well, I can't just shut off the water at the mains, even if I knew where that was. Too many people would be affected, some of them with mental health issues, they just wouldn't understand what was going on. Like my back door neighbour who never knows what day it is and frequently runs out of food because he doesn't know he should go and buy some....

So I'm stuck here on the internet, whinging again, because I can't even shower in case the plumber knocks on the door. If he does take 5 hours to get here, I'll be missing the birthday party. If he comes and does the repair early enough I'll still get there, but I texted the hostess just in case, she said "no worries".

So now I wait.
Luckily I'm not one of those people who has to pee every time they hear running water.

oh poo!!

I have a cold sore.

Let me now publicly state that I sympathise mightily with all of you who suffer from these horrible little so-and-so's on a regular basis.

This is the second cold sore I've had in my lifetime and I can honestly say the first one, 25 years ago, was more than enough.

Apparently stress can bring them on and I've certainly had enough of that this year.

So off to the chemist for a tube of Virasolve, which is what I remember using the last time, also some steriliser of the sort used for baby's bottles.
I've mixed up the solution and I'm soaking all of the sippy tops from my plastic water bottles and the bottles too, also my toothbrush.

Just throw that toothbrush away you say?
Well, I would, but it's brand new......

I'm hoping that my lip will feel more comfortable by tomorrow, because I have a 40th birthday party to go to.
Woo-Hoo...partay!!
Now, what shall I wear?

Friday, November 25, 2011

summer is almost upon us

Salad days....veggie salads, fruit salads, fruit and veg together salads.
Yum.
And let's not forget icecream....

But... I'm not really a salad person. I'm trying to eat more salady meals, but I still like to eat a cooked meal several times a week.

The problem now is the electric oven and hotplates. I'm not looking forward to cooking on a hot day, then being unable to get back into the kitchen for hours because it's still cooling down in there. Plus, it's open to the living room, so the heat will filter out there.

Enter the microwave.
I've had one for years but not used it terribly much.
This summer it will earn its keep.

I'm currently taste testing a range of "Healthy Choice" and "Lean Cuisine" frozen meals to find out which ones I can eat, (a lot of them just don't taste nice to me), and ticking them off on the list on the fridge door. With a yes or a no beside each variety.

Another option I'll be using is cooking several large meals that freeze well on cooler weekends, then freezing meal sized portions. Things like spaghetti bolognese, lasagna, mild curry and rice, that will heat well in the microwave. Then there's frozen pizzas too, although they don't do so well in the microwave, much better in the oven.

With these options and the salad meals, plus sandwiches, (tuna, tuna and salad, tuna and mayo...) the summer shouldn't be too hard.
As long as there is a good supply of icecream in the freezer.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I got a parcel in the mail today....

Some time ago, Melissa at Suger Coat It, was holding a little giveaway, for a pair of pyjamas from Virtu clothing.

Well, I won them, and the parcel arrived today.
Just look at these "Free As A Bird" pyjamas.

They're made from a knit fabric, very soft and drapy. I'm going to love swanning around the house in these this summer.

The top and pants are trimmed with some very pretty lace...


...here's a close-up of the free-flying birds and open cages on the pants.

I particularly like that the shoulder straps are adjustable.

Included in the package was a laundering bag, (thanks Virtu, I'd been needing a new one),

and a couple of catalogues for me to look through.
 I'm guessing they'd like me to keep shopping.
Maybe I will.
The clothes are lovely.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

hippy bathday

to no-one.....



love from Mum.

where's the cake? I've got my own fork.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I like this....

Here is an advertisement I like.


The ad is for the bookshelves, but I really like the book Christmas tree they've made in there. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

hands up who doesn't like tuna

Wow!  So many of you!

I read a post last Saturday in which Kelley stated that she hates tuna.
A couple of her commenters said the same thing.

I've read similar statements all over the bloggy world.
People hating tuna.

Well, not me. No sirree.
I like tuna. 

Right now I have 25 cans of tuna in my kitchen.
Here's proof>>








There was 26, but I ate one yesterday, with salad, for my dinner.
I've even been known to cook with tuna.
If the link doesn't work, the post is from Monday 17th January 2011, in the archives over there>>
(Please, try the link and let me know if I got it right).

When the kids were little I also made tuna mornays quite often. At least two per winter.
I don't do that anymore.
It got a bit time consuming, with one child liking hers with chopped hard-boiled egg included, but no peas; another child, peas but no egg; then there's the child who would probably prefer to never see another tuna mornay as long as she lives.....

Anyway, what about you?
Tuna?
Or not?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Selections #44

It's Sunday Selection time again!
Time to post photos that have been hiding away in your computer files, photos that you may have completely forgotten about.
Have a hunt through your files and find some.

This idea comes to us from Kim at Frog Ponds Rock, who realised one day that she takes many more photos than she uses, as we all do, and wanted to post some of the older ones on her blog.

A once a week meme seemed like a good idea, so Sunday Selections was born and anyone at all can join in.

I often choose a theme for my Sunday Selections and this week my theme is:-

FIRE DAMAGE
(unfortunately I have only two photos, I meant to get more, but time slipped away from me)

Both images are of the burnt out St George Bakery that was across the road from where I used to live.
The blaze was huge, with three fire trucks and several police cars in attendance and neighbouring businesses being evacuated.
I walked home from work on the day to see the last few flames and much smoke filling the air above the bakery, and dozens of people from the other businesses crowded on the footpath outside the units where my home was.

No one was hurt.


There used to be a roof up there.


the blackened underside of the varandah and the boarded up shopfront window.

Before the windows were boarded up I saw the interior, so very black. The smell was bad for a few days,but soon was only noticeable if you walked right up to the building.
It's believed the fire was caused by an electrical fault.
There are plans to rebuild the bakery on the same site, but that hasn't happened yet.

To join in with Sunday Selections, post photos of your choice under the Sunday Selections title, then go to Kim's site, add your name to her linky list and leave her a comment.
Then have a look at what others have posted for their selections.
There are some really good photographers out there.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

English is a crazy language

Secondary title: that F sound

ph
we all know this combination of letters makes an F sound.
Always.
Unless there are variations that I don't know about.

phone - fone
photo - foto
pheromone - feromone.
pharmacy - farmacy
phantom - fantom
philosophy - filosofy
phraseology - fraseology

but what about the gh combination?
these two letters together do not always sound the same
and do not always make that F sound.

Placed at the beginning of a word gh is simply g.
A "hard" g, not the softer gee.
ghost
ghoul
gherkin
ghetto
Now and again it's a J as in Gillian (Jillian) or Geoffrey (Jeffrey)

Placed in the middle of a word, or at the end, it's a totally different sound.
In laughing or coughing it becomes an F

laughing -larfing
coughing - cofing
yet coffin is not spelled c-o-u-g-h-i-n
Gough Whitlam is not spelled Gof Whitlam
slough is pronounced sluf

bough - the tree branch - is a W sound; bow

other gh words have other sounds;
bought -bort; but not boft
brought - brort
ought -ort; why not oft?

there are still more variations
sleigh - slay
eight - ate
right - rite, but not rift...
rough is ruff
thigh is theye? or could it be thif....

Port Broughton certainly isn't Port Brofton, but it could be.

For newcomers arriving in Australia or any other English speaking country, learning to speak the language isn't so hard, (deciphering our slang is a different matter altogether), but when it comes to the reading and, more importantly, the writing, getting it right (rite? ryte?) isn't so easy.

I'm not at all surprised when immigrants bring their school age children to the supermarket to help with the shopping.

And I'm thankful for those dedicated people, like Frogdancer, who teach English as a second language, whether it be to children in a High School, or to adults at a TAFE course in the evenings.

I did my share for a while, working in a shoe factory and helping the group of girls at my table to better understand the "English" they were hearing daily, that didn't correspond with the proper English they'd learnt before coming to Australia.
One had come from Madrid, two from Poland.

Anyrthing that helps to achieve better understanding is a plus in my books.

Friday, November 18, 2011

she was so alive with joy

I served a lot of customers yesterday.
Actually I've served a lot of customers all week.
Where are all you people coming from?
We checkout people barely have time to take a sip of water in between customers lately.
This type of rush usually happens closer to Christmas..............

Anyway, back to yesterday.
One customer in particular stood out from the crowd.

A young woman, maybe 20 or so........
Her face was so alive with joy and excitement
She had the biggest grin and was doing little happy dance jigs while I processed her goods.

I said to her, "you look a little excited"
And she replied, "I am, I've just bought a Christmas tree and I can't wait to get home to it".
Me: Is it your first Christmas tree?
Customer: yes, my partner and I have just moved in together.....

Well, that certainly explained the happy dancing!
New relationship, new home together, first Christmas tree....
I wish them well, I truly do.

I remember that kind of excitement.
Do you?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

where has your furniture come from?

6:40pm; Thursday 17 November; watching Today Tonight.

Feature story....cheap imported furniture from China, in particular...glass tables.

These tables are exploding, without warning, for no reason.

Apparently there is no stress testing of these glass tables at manufacturing point, and there are no Australian Standards for glass tables, either indoor or outdoor, that have to be met.

What??? No Australian Standards???

This is bad.
Why do we not have Australian Standards for glass topped tables, as we do for so many other things?

Do you have a glass table?  Where was it made?

a trio of sunset roses

This photo of drooping roses looks a little sad, doesn't it?



so here's one I prepared earlier.


                                                                     Much better, yes?
and here's the one where I accidentally left the flash turned on.


a trio of photos, of a trio of roses.

(oh, I'm soooo clever....)  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

there are no neurons firing in my brain today

Instead I have a dense cloud of hayfever induced fog.
Which should dissipate as soon as the antihistamines take effect.

So instead of writing something that possibly won't make any sense, I'll give you a few descriptions of the  wind in a storm from the book I'm currently reading.

Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane.

The blurb on the back of the book tells me this has been made into a movie, the story is interesting enough for me to look for it at places like JBHifi, Amazon etc. in spite of the fact that it stars Leonardo DiCaprio.
(I'm not a fan...)

The descriptions:
  • A chunk of something passed so close to his head he could feel it kiss his hair.
  • The wind was thick with dirt and leaves, tree branches and rocks and always the rain and it squealed like a pack of boar and shredded the earth.
  • An angry thing that turned waves into towers and chewed houses into matchsticks and could lift him in its grasp and throw him to China.
  • An entire tree swept past the door, upside down, its roots sprawling upward like horns.
  • The door ripped free of its sole remaining hinge and smashed back into the doorway, and they watched it hammer the stone and then lift into the air and shoot above the graveyard and disappear into the sky.
You'll notice Dennis Lehane uses a lot of "and" in his writing.

When I was in school, if we had to write a 500 word essay, my English teacher told us this was a lazy way of filling out the page and we'd be deducted a point from our score for every "and" we used where we could have put a comma or another word.
To this day, I try to not use too many "ands" in my writing.
(they do seem to creep in, don't they?)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

last Saturday

I went into town with my camera, intending to take photos of the Chinatown area around the Central Market.
The bus was a little crowded, so I got off a few stops early and walked up Wakefield Street towards Victoria Square.
I began to notice more and more people, all heading the same way as me. Families, many, many, small children and babies in prams.
Further down the street I could see crowds of them lining the middle of the road.

I'd completely forgotten it was Christmas Pageant day!
There wasn't a good spot for me to stop and take photos, so I decided not to take any and just kept walking towards the market.
But then I saw something I could climb up on and maybe get a decent photo or three....

I'd missed the first few floats and even standing up on something, I still couldn't get photos of the bands that were playing and marching along.
I could only get photos of the bigger floats that stood out above the crowds.
Here are some of those.


Jester


Christmas on Parade.


Smoke breathing dragon.


Ghostly Grove.


Naughty or Nice? This wheel spun as the float moved along, then stopped when the float stopped.
The choices were naughty, needs help, nice and I couldn't read the other one.


Aaarrgh! Ahoy me hearties!   Captain Hook I believe.


This shiny kangaroo bobbed his way along.


Clowning around.


Toy Town


Christmas presents piled high. There were three such piles on this float.


Toys


Fairytale Cottage.


Have you ever heard a brass band play Funky Town? This one did.


Carollers.


Santa's Reindeer


Santa blowing kisses.  When I was a kid, Santa threw lollies.


Santa waving to the kids.

I did eventually get to Chinatown and took photos too, but I'll post those another day.